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Neurology Tips and Tricks

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1 Neurology Tips and Tricks
Intro to Clinics Night

2 From your Upper Classmen Friends
It all became worth it when… “...When I could sit and listen to an elderly man with severe dementia and depression for as long as he needed to talk “...When a chronic neuropathic pain patient was so touched by the fact that I held her hand during a procedure that she asked the nurse to tell my resident to call me after I had left the rotation just to thank me.” “...When I could help an older gentleman come up with smoking cessation strategies after he suffered a minor stroke.”

3 Staying Sane Don’t let your empathy get fatigued! Taking an extra moment to listen to your patient is a good way to improve patient care, help your team, and make the experience more fulfilling for you!

4 Day 1: Service Assignment
First day you meet with Amy Pruitt, and she will assign you to a service by your interests “I have no idea what I want to do” = Consults “I’m thinking medicine” = Stroke or General Ward “I’m thinking Peds” = Pediatric consult service “I’m interested in primary care or outpatient medicine” = Presby rotation

5 What’s the difference Personal opinion
Do not say Peds unless you are 100% sure. If you are DEFINITELY going Peds, it will be helpful to do seizure consult, seizure consult… But this doesn’t generally offer the breadth of what’s on the shelf Dr Khella at Presby is an amazing teacher, but this is a very fast paced ambulatory rotation where you may feel overwhelmed if it’s your first rotation General neurology, consults, and stroke all offer a good variety; the ward services function much like medicine services

6 What should I buy/borrow?
Books Blueprints – High yield and a good, broad overview Case Files – In-depth cases that make you think about what’s going on (my personal favorite). The Yellow Pages – Dr. Pruitt will give them to you on the first day. Use these last as a review. USMLEWORLD!!! – do the neurology questions. SUPER high yield. Crucial, even

7 What should I buy/borrow
Supplies Get tongue depressors from the supply closet on the floor or when you start consults, you can break them in half (so they’re jagged) and use them to test “pain” Alcohol swabs (also in every ward’s supply closet) test “cold” Pin light Reflex hammer (the dinky triangle ones suck and are hard to get reflexes with,… but they are the cheapest) Tuning fork Having something Red is helpful for testing color vision Ask a resident if you can borrow their Panoptic …. Or you can use an ophthamoscope… if you figure out how to see the optic disk with this reliably, let me know, because I sure can’t (DO NOT lose the panoptic though… its $700 and your resident will be unhappy)

8 Also helpful Maxwell cards have a section on mental status (purple page) – YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TEST in Neuro patients In every other rotation it’s ok to say “alert and oriented” but for neuro you need to be more specific A visual acuity card. Sometimes asking the patient to count fingers in the four quadrants of their visual field (while they look at your nose) is enough… sometimes you need to be formal Micromedex or another drug app can be very helpful

9 Tips and Tricks: Homepage

10 Tips and Tricks: Sunrise

11 Tips and Tricks Sunrise
How to be in the know!

12 The Neuro Exam Mental status Time? (Year, season, month, day, date)
Location? (State, county, town, hospital, floor) Ask the patient to repeat 3 objects and to remember them Serial 7’s or spell WORLD backwards Ask for the 3 objects named above Point to 2 objects and have the patient name them Repeat “No ifs, ands, or buts” Follow command: “Take the paper in your right hand,fold it in half and put it on the floor.” Read and obey the following written words: “CLOSE YOUR EYES” Write a sentence Copy a design

13 The Neuro Exam, Con’t Cranial Nerves Motor
II: Optic: Can use the eye chart in Maxwell’s; Remember to do visual fields III/IV/VI: Extraocular movement; light reflexes V: Trigeminal: You can do a variety of things, (corneal reflex, jaw opening, bitestrength), but most just test facial sensation VII: Facial: eyebrow raise, eyelid close, smile, frown, pucker, taste VIII: Vestibulocochlear: Hearing; Rinne, Weber, doll’s eye, IX,X: Glossopharyngeal, Vagus: gag reflex, swallowing, palate elevation XI: Spinal Accessory: lateral head rotation, neck flexion, shoulder shrug XII: Hypoglossal: Tongue protrusion Motor 5/5: full strength 4+/5: you can break them if you push really hard 4/5: Offer some resistance 3/5: Can hold their arms/legs up against gravity, but are easily pushed down 2/5: Can move minimally but cannot hold extremities up 1/5: flicker of muscle movement Give-way weakness: you get the sense that the patient probably has full strength, but isn’t trying very hard

14 The Neuro Exam, Con’t Sensation Reflexes Coordination
Cold: alcohol swab Pin-prick: broken tongue depressor Proprioception: without looking, am I moving your big toe up or down? Vibration: tuning fork Light touch: you touch their skin Reflexes 0 = no reflex at all 1(+) = you get a small jerk 2+ = normal 3+ = brisk, “jumpy” (can be normal in young people, if they are SYMMETRIC, asymmetric reflexes should make you pause) 4+ = non-sustained clonus (repetitive vibratory sensation you feel) 5+ = sustained clonus (rarely seen) other signs of hyperreflexia include spreading of reflexes to other muscles not directly being tested and crossed adduction of the opposite leg when the medial aspect of the knee is tapped Coordination Finger-nose-finger, rapid alternating movement, heel to shin Gait (test in everyone able to walk): tandem, heel walking, toe walking

15 Where to find Neuro Exam form:
Click “Housestaff Portal – Pulse” on Right side of the MedView Homepage  Click Neurology on the Left side of the Screen  click “common forms”

16 Handling a New Admission/ ED consult
Go to Medview  Look up ED admission Can see the ED’s H&P (will usually not include a neuro exam) and their initial impressions / workup that’s been done Look and see if there are any lab abnormalities… for example a K of 2.6 may explain the patients altered mental status and take some of the “neuro” off the differential. Patients with a history of thromboembolic stroke are often anticoagulated, look at their PT if on Warfarin… If they’ve had any imaging, take a look, it’s nice to look at the images themselves, but you can also definitely use the radiology reads Go see the patient vs. look on if you want to know the DDx for something so that you can tailor your questions appropriately Do a FULL Neuro Exam. If you miss something… go back… it’s worth looking awkward to the patient, you’ll get better about being more complete as the year goes on!

17 Notes on Consults In the ICUs: check the paper chart first, the ICUs generally generate a daily progress note that is quite comprehensive and will give you a mostly-complete picture of the patient to that point. Comatose patients: scary at first – ask your resident if you can go together for the first one. Check pupils (II), corneals (with saline drops) (V, VII), dolls eyes (VIII), Gag (IX, X) Motor: use your reflex hammer to press (hard) on their nailbeds (it seems cruel, but this really helps you understand the patients’ overall state) Localizing: patient pulls away Extensor Flexor Test all reflexes, including babinski

18 Presenting Be methodical and thorough with history & exam
In order, same way every time, go back if needed At least at the beginning, write it out (Type!) Know everything, but only say what you actually think is important. In the beginning, all parts of the Neuro Exam are important, don’t forget the mental status (attendings will call you out if you didn’t test language… it’s a neuro thing…:/) Be prepared to answer other questions Know the normal values for any labs you state Follow-Up Presentations: SOAP

19 SOAP Notes Subjective - Report on any overnight events and how pt is feeling (ask about f/c, n/v, SOB, CP, abd pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Objective - Report VS (Tm, Tc, HR, BP, R, SaO2, weight), NEURO EXAM Assessment - Summary statement. Plan - plan for pt, often in order of importance of problem, by problem or by organ system.

20 Topic Presentations Start with a summary source: UpToDate, Neurology (Journal), Be focused --> brevity is the soul of wit here more than ever Make a handout, but say more than is on the handout Incorporate actual evidence (use UpToDate or review End strong: Zinger, 3 take-away points

21 Useful Shorthand

22 Imaging

23 Support Systems Suite 100: - JoMo, Barb, Helene
- Tutors set up through suite 100 Organized counseling: - CAPS: - Therapists in the community (Barb from Student Affairs can provide names and contact info) - Paired mentoring: SNMA, LMSA, Elizabeth Blackwell, House mentors Other people to turn to: - Doctoring preceptors - Advisory deans - Clerkship directors (it’s really ok to talk to them!) - Mentors you have connected with in pre-clinical years (through clinics, volunteering, etc) - Friends and family outside of medicine

24 Supplemental Stuff UpToDate from Home
Access the hospital's Extranet at Use your MedView username / password to log in Create a bookmark on your home page for UpToDate Click on the "+" that's on the far right side of the "Web Bookmarks" heading Name your bookmark and put this URL in the URL spot: Click on new bookmark that's now on your home page Use UpToDate like you would from on campus HUP OR Schedule: Homepage: Left hand side, click on Departments-->Perioperative Services-->OR Schedule. The user name and password are both hupor

25 Supplemental Stuff Bug Drug: UPHS guidelines for anti- microbial therapy Pulse: Phonebooks for each hospital #s for Consult services Lots of assorted resources, guidelines, forms Phone #s to store in your cell Hospital operator General lab

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